The Psychology of Moving to Oklahoma City

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesPrepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Moving is tough—notwithstanding the situation, any time you must pack up all your treasured possessions (read--old college papers, items you have been meaning to repair, kids’ drawings) and move them to a new home is staggering for even the most chipper and hopeful among us. When you have landed your dream job—four states away--and your significant other will have to leave their career, when life has thrown you a huge surprise and you are essentially given no choice but to move, when living alone is no longer an option---you've got to handle a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs along with the stress of the physical move to Oklahoma City.

A big stressor in moving is understanding the whims of the real estate business. You're a successful adult, valued in your community, and your life is completely at the mercy of several people you have never met--what if your house does not sell? What if the folks who put an offer on your house decide they want to buy another house? What if they ask you to leave the washer & dryer and the kids' sandbox? What if the appraiser sees the crevice in the foundation that is sort of hidden behind the landscaping? Suppose the home inspector uncovers your new house has a bad roof or there's a gas station and travel plaza slotted for across the road from your new addition? Here is the reality. You have no control over any of these items. The best you can do is to be sure that the realtor helping with your house and the realtor helping you with the new house are competent and do what they are supposed to do--and talk with both to have a back-up plan should something get askew.

Think about real estate transactions as a huge run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing going as planned. One snafu six steps down the line can have an impact on your buyers timetable, and a similar thing goes for the house you are moving to—a last minute setback might mean you cannot close when you thought you could, and you're up all night pondering how you will handle being homeless for a few days, or if you might just move into one of the moving company’s moving trucks and set up camp.

Calm down. One of the benefits of the recession is that real estate regulations have changed and there aren't quite as many last-minute surprises with your closings. You should discover any potential concerns far ahead of your closing date, and in case that something does change, moving companies are wonderfully adept at working with changing time frames. If an issue does slow things down, you may have the alternative of moving in a few days before you actually close--again, a good realtor thinks about contingencies, so you do not have to fret about them.

Communicate with your realtors and lender once a week leading up to your scheduled closing to make sure all the inspections and repairs and whatnot are going as planned; staying in the know maintains at least a feeling of control, and if there is a speedbump you are not blindsided.

If something unexpected does take place, like if you are building and an out-of-stock supply has delayed inspections and you do not have the occupancy certificate three days ahead of closing because the plumbing isn't finished, AND you've got fixed closing date on your old residence and the movers are slammed, do not panic. Most moving companies have temporary or long-term storage until you can move in your new house, and your realtor should be able to assist you in finding short-term housing until your residence is ready. Snafus like these are unlikely, but when they do arise your anxiety levels skyrocket--so count on your team to help you deal with it.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you're moving to Oklahoma City--and it may be desirable, it could be a challenge. You could be going four blocks or four hundred miles away. Everybody's scenario is unique, but people are very much alike--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from residence to home. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated cars to ride in, and others parallel a gravity-defying, nausea-inducing Loch Ness monster. The feat is to turn that roller coaster into a smooth ride with cheerful little people humming "It's A Small World" as you float through your closets.

Some researchers and psychologists have linked moving--in any situation--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. In other words, you feel denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance.

When you have built a life in a single place, it is very standard to have mixed feelings about leaving the home where you were carried (or carried) over the threshold, where you brought your kiddos home, where you observed all those birthdays and anniversaries. If your move is not choice but a requirement, it is alright to be angry with the circumstances that have deposited you at the crossroads where you are moving from your residence because there are no other choices. Get furious, wail and holler at the walls and lean on your family and friends for assistance. Spend some time trying to formulate how to not have to relocate—maybe your significant other could commute, or rent a crash pad in the new locale; if you require assistance keeping up with your house, you might consider getting live in help. Working through your options, as far out as they could be, helps you work through the reality of moving so that it's a tad easier to accept it.

Then, you can spend several days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your friends ask if they should stop over and help you sort through stuff, and you fudge a little and say you are almost done, when in reality you have thrown out two dried up ink pens and an empty bottle of hand soap and don't have a box to your name. If you are really wrestling with the specifics of purging and packing, have your family help you. Or, ask your moving company to pack things up for you—many full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you started or do the full job for you.

Finally, you will accept the transition and change. It may not be the moment the moving vans get there, it may take a couple months. But the human spirit is a resilient thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new abode in Oklahoma City. That's not to pretend it will be easy, but being accepting to create a new life and doing new activities can ease the nostalgia for your old house and your old life.

Your family members could all cope with congruent feelings, although with fluctuating degrees of passion--teenagers’ reactions will probably be a tad more forceful than that of a younger child. If you're vacating your family abode for senior living because one spouse is not doing well, then the more active spouse may feel more anger and denial. The important thing is to not forget that the emotional twists and turns are normal and it would be weird if you did not get sad or angry or a little anxious during the process.

Keeping your move in perspective is critical to arriving to the new residence in one piece. Your life is not housed in the walls of your old home, your life is in the memories you have made there. Remember that you will not lose old friends, and that you will meet new ones. And one day soon, you will step in the front door and think to yourself, "I am home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

People are creatures of habit--even toddlers pick their favorite stuffed animal and there’ll be a small catastrophe if it's nowhere to be found at nap time. Similarly, when you move, you're lots of times shaking up most of your habits in place and even if you are excited about the new residence, the new life you have got to evolve around it is challenging to even the most even keel person. When you are moving and worried about creating a new life for you and your family in Oklahoma City, here are some ways to help with the transition.

Get your family pumped up about the relocation to Oklahoma City. If this translates to agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint her favorite rock band’s newest album on her wall, grit your teeth and go buy the paint. It could mean you finally have enough yard for a dog—think about what kind of dog you want, and as soon as everything is unpacked, go to the local shelter and get a new furry family member. Plan to bring home two, as your new furry friend could use a pal. Let your kids set up tents and camp out in that new yard. Of course, it's bribery of a sort, but it's all for the greater good and the delight of new privileges and besides, puppies are a surefire way to put a smile on everyone’s face. And, if you're the one having a difficult time with it, seeing your family settling in goes a long way to helping your state of mind.

When you are moving, the information superhighway (if you are older that terminology means something to you) makes the trip a lot easier. You probably used real estate websites to look for your new home and analyze schools and neighborhoods, so you have a pretty good view already of your new locale. Use social media to link up with people--towns big and small have mom groups that provide all kinds of things from dentist reviews to the best swim lessons--and don’t forget that your new neighbors can be very helpful. Lots of neighborhoods have websites and online listings that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and shovel snow.

If you have kids, getting them into new activities is much more vital to them than that pediatrician. Being able to get right back into basketball or piano lessons or dance keeps them on a schedule and helps them feel a part of their new surroundings-the last thing you want is to have pouting kiddos around the home whining that they hate you and do not have anything to do. And here's an interesting tidbit—studies show that moving during the school year can be less stressful for kids than moving over the summer break. If you start a new school at the start of the year it's easier to get looked over in the turmoil of the new year , but when you come in when school's in session, it's more possible your kids will make friends more quickly and get more involved in school.

The loss of a sense of security can be a tough part of a relocation for the adults. When you're in the habit of swinging into a neighbor's abode just because you see her car in the driveway, going to a new place where you don't know a soul is hard. Remember that your new neighbors are probably interested in being friends with you, because they have probably said goodbye to their drive-by buddies and are looking forward to getting to know the new neighbors (aka – you!). Taking the dog for a walk is a good way to meet the neighbors--their curiosity about you is high, and this provides you a simple way to get to know everyone.

Many churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that you and your family can be a part of, and aid you to discover how you fit within that community. The majority of schools welcome volunteers, so contemplate getting involved. And, if you are part of a national club like Rotary or Junior League your membership transfer immediately brings you into a group.

Life changes are hard, but by allowing yourself and your loved ones the okay to be a bit sad about the past will assist everyone embrace the future.

If you are contemplating a move, contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group to get started on your free in-home estimate. We promise to do our part to make your move to Oklahoma City as seamless as possible.